Boxing returns to Japan on Tuesday for normal, no-title action, as Misako Gym puts on a 9 fight show, “Misako Clan Meeting”, at the Korakuen Hall.
The show, which begins with novice Kazutaka Matsunishi (1-0) fighting against Akira Kokubo (1-3) in a Light Flyweight contest, will see four bouts scheduled for the 4 round distance. The second bout on the show will see win-less men colliding as Keigo Oshima (0-3) battles Mitsunari Takaboshi (0-3) who returns to the ring after more than 3 years out of the ring.
In the third contest on the show Takahiro Onjuku (1-2, 1) will be fighting an opponent with an identical record in the form of Taiyo Gunjima (1-2, 1). We believe that the final 4 rounder will see Yoshihiko Suzuki (0-2), ending a 6 year break from the ring. Unfortunately we're unsure who Suzuki will be fighting.
Following the 4rounder action turns up a notch as we move on to two scheduled 6 round contests. The first of these will see Takahiro Iida (4-2-1, 2) fighting against Seiji Watanabe (4-3-1, 2) in what looks to be an evenly matched contest. The second 6 rounder bout will see Shun Shimazaki (5-4, 1) looking for his fourth victory of the year as he takes on Kenta Toi (2-3).
Following the 6 rounders we then get to a trio of 8 rounders that make up the most interesting contests of the show.
The first of the 8 rounders will see Osamu Hashimoto (8-5, 1) taking on the limited but hard hitting Yudai Ueno (6-5-2, 5). Ueno, who may lack a winning record, has lost his last 3 though has been competitive in most of his losses and in fact his record could well have read much better had he been with a notable promoter. Hashimoto will be favoured but this is a lot more interesting than it looks on paper.
In the second 8 rounder Satoshi Momota (9-8, 4) will be fighting the highly ranked Shamgar Koichi (16-5-1, 9). Koichi, ranked by the OPBF and the JBC, will be putting his rankings on the line here though in all honesty he should have far more than enough to defeat the limited but tough Momota who hasn't yet been stopped in his 17 fight career.
The main event, also over 8 rounds, will see former Japanese Super Flyweight challenger Yuki Fukumoto (15-7, 5) taking on Yusuke Sakashita (9-4-2, 5) in what looks on paper to be an easy test. Although Fukumoto has has lost a number of recent fights he really should have more than enough for Sakashita.
After an oddly quiet week in the boxing world the action really kicks off on Friday with action around the world and across pretty much every level.
In Thailand the action kicks off with Terdsak Kokietgym (49-4-1, 32) defending the PABA Super Featherweight interim title against Filipino Rodynie Rafol (10-4-2, 4). On paper this is a bit of a mismatch but Rafol did almost upset Bualuang OnesongchaiGym in April in his last fight in Thailand so he may shock us and give Terdsak a tough one.
There is also the return to the ring of Thai world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (19-3-1, 18) though we're very unsure on his opponent. As far as we are aware this will be a none title fight for the WBC Super Flyweight champion who is expected to defend his title before the end of the year.
Whilst the PABA action may be in Thailand that doesn't mean Japanese fans aren't in for a day to remember as well with two stacked cards of their own.
For us the most interesting of the two Japanese cards takes place at the Central Gym in Kobe. The main attraction here sees Kohei Oba (33-2-1, 12) defending his Japanese Bantamweight title against Satoshi Niwa (15-15-3, 2). The bout is a clear mismatch on paper but with so many of the top Japanese fighters at 118lbs currently mixing in and around world level Oba is actually struggling to find domestic opponents. Saying that Niwa is the #1 ranked challenger in Japan and does enter the bout on a 5 fight winning streak.
Staying at Bantamweight the once beaten Ryotaro Kawabata (8-1, 3) takes on the durable Marjohn Yap (18-9, 10). Yap returns to Japan after giving Ryosuke Iwasa a solid contest back in March so this bout is likely to be a case of directly comparing Kawabata to Iwasa, a man many feel is ready for a world title bout.
At Super Featherweight Yuta Matsuda (9-7-2, 4) faces Tokiya Nishioka (5-3-2, 2). Matsuda looks to build on his victory over Seiichi Okada from earlier this year. The other bout on the card sees Yuma Iwahashi (9-5-1, 1) taking on Atsushi Aburada (7-4, 4) in what looks like a competitive lower level match up.
The other Japanese card takes place at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
At the "Hall" the title attraction sees Naoko Shibata (9-3-0, 3) defending her OPBF female Light Flyweight title for the 3rd time. Shibata will be taking on Mika Oda (5-6-1, 1) for the second time following a decision victory over her in November 2011.
As well as Shibata/Oda II there is a promising bout at Middleweight between Kazuhiko Hidaka (31-6, 22) and Hikaru Nishida (7-6-1, 2). Hidaka, ranked #6 at Light Middleweight by the JBC will be moving up a division to take on the #8 ranked Japanese Middleweight. Hidaka has to be the favourite though he has been stopped and moving up in weight may work against him here.
The rest of the card is made up of lower level bouts with Kazutaka Takakuwa (8-6, 2) facing Osamu Hashimoto (8-4, 1) in an 8 round contest. The remaining contest are all scheduled for 6 rounds as Ryuji Yokoyama (8-1, 3) takes on Takushige Sato (4-3-1, 1); Ryo Nakamura (6-2, 2) faces the hard hitting Taro Mochizuki (4-5, 4) and Ryu Kenshiro (4-5-1, 2) fights Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi (1-3).
In terms of international action the highlight is in the US as Filipino power puncher Drian Francisco (24-1-1, 19) looks to make his mark stateside. Francisco takes on the once highly touted Chris Avalos (21-2, 16) in the main event of the up coming "Friday Night Fights" and a victory could well see him becoming a regular on US TV due to his style and power.